Tuesday, March 22, 2016

IT'S OVER (For Now):
FBI/DOJ Vacates Court Date Against Apple


This evening, MacNN published that:

Tomorrow's iPhone 5c court hearing vacated by judge after request
A few hours ago, the US Department of Justice filed to vacate tomorrow's hearing, as it has apparently found another method to access the San Bernardino shooter's work-owned iPhone 5c. The filing says that on Sunday, an "outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook's iPhone" which "should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. ("Apple") set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case." . . . 

The government is planning to perform more testing on the iPhone 5c to determine suitability of the proposed procedure, and report back to the courts on April 5 with progress, which may yet result in Apple having to appear and defend its position.
DOJ Motion To Vacate Hearing

So, see you again April 5th! (?)

It is so easy at this point to speculate what is REALLY going on at the FBI and DOJ. But let's sit tight and take this forced break in the proceedings. I expect full well that there will be more attempts to wreck the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution ahead.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Suggested Reading Re:
Apple Vs FBI Vs US Constitution


I find it a bit absurd to write an article sending someone to another article. But sometimes someone else's writing is so good that I have to help draw attention to it. I've been pouring through a deluge of articles, videos, podcasts... discussing aspects of the Apple Vs FBI Vs US Constitution case. This specific article is one of the best of the lot and provides an excellent summary of the core failings of the FBI's case, discussing the law involved in detail with very good reader comprehension. Please read this article by John Eden at TechCrunch:

Why Apple is right to resist the FBI
... Apple should do what is necessary to preserve our enduring constitutional values, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those values also include the privacy and speech rights protected by the Constitution. The First Amendment famously protects an individual’s right to say what he or she thinks or feels, and the Fourth Amendment guarantees that Americans shall be free of unreasonable searches and seizure.

These values and constitutional ideals are not mere commodities to be traded away, but are instead regulative ideals that capture and define who we are. Such ideals must remain unmolested by the temporary whims of each and every government agency. That’s what it means to be a nation of laws that is guided by a constitution.

In this particular case, Apple has a responsibility to resist the FBI’s efforts to force the company to undermine the security measures in its mobile operating system. To understand what is at stake here, one has to think deeply about what the world would be like if Apple were to comply with the FBI’s demands.... 
In a nutshell, here’s where we are: A government agency is trying to force the world’s most valuable technology company to break its encryption technology despite (1) having no legal authority to do so and (2) being unable to articulate what they hope to achieve on behalf of the American people. Sounds like a grand bargain to me.
Thank you to John Eden for excellent writing and thank you to the folks at MacDailyNews for bringing the article to my attention.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Adobe Critical Updates:
In-The-Wild Exploit!


Over the past few days, Adobe has provided critical security updates. Version numbers and download links:

Flash v21.0.0.182 --Active exploit in-the-wild
AIR v21.0.0.176 --Active exploit in-the-wild
Acrobat v15.010.20060
Reader v15.010.20060
Digital Editions v4.5.1

Here are the links to the various Adobe Security Bulletins:

Flash & AIR

Acrobat & Reader
Digital Editions

And here are the number of CVEs patched:

Flash & AIR: 18. 

 - CVE-2016-1010 is being actively exploited in-the-wild.
(CVE-2016-0960, CVE-2016-0961, CVE-2016-0962, CVE-2016-0963, CVE-2016-0986, CVE-2016-0987, CVE-2016-0988, CVE-2016-0989, CVE-2016-0990, CVE-2016-0991, CVE-2016-0993, CVE-2016-0994, CVE-2016-0995, CVE-2016-0996, CVE-2016-1000, CVE-2016-1001, CVE-2016-1005, CVE-2016-1010)
Acrobat & Reader: 3
(CVE-2016-1007, CVE-2016-1008, CVE-2016-1009)
Digital Editions: 1 
So get updating kids! Adobe critical updates go on forever...


And remember: 
UNinstall the Java Internet plug-in and never install it again! 
Don't bother updating it. 
Just UNinstall it.
Never install it again.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Apple Provides A Web Page Of
Amicus Briefs in Support of Apple


I've been slowly slogging through Apple's provided 'Amicus Briefs in Support of Apple'. It's an extraordinary list of supporters with links to their court briefs, letters to the court and related statement pages on the web:

Apple Press Info: Amicus Briefs in Support of Apple

I'm giving a talk tonight at a local user group about Apple Vs FBI Vs US Constitution, so I'll simply suggest looking through the list. An amazing array of companies and organizations are supporting Apple's court case.

Meanwhile, I'm not seeing much more than desperation, rhetoric and hyperbole from my government in response. Today's comic over at Joy of Tech summarizes their loony desperation:

What bothers me, of course, is that this bumbling attempt at imposing totalitarianism in the USA will be followed up with more polished, manipulative, propagandist attempts that appeal to the ignorant and easy frightened among us. We've already seen the Director of the FBI post a highly emotion-oriented appeal on the net with little reference to the real legal issue. I expect more of the same in the future with the volume cranked up to 11.